Best Coast dropped in on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last night to play “Storms,” the bonus Fleetwood Mac cover from their recent album The Only Place. Bethany Consentino and Bobb Bruno were joined by only a bassist on the dark stage for a performance that was quiet save for Constentino’s impressive voice. “Never have I been a blue calm sea, I’ve always been a storm,” she sang, staid like we don’t often get to hear her and channeling her inner Stevie Nicks in a floor-skimming black dress and turquoise jewelry. Best Coast’s take is a bit more somber than the original Tusk b-side, but no less beautiful for it. Nicks, we have to believe, would approve.
Surely you’ve noticed: Best Coast frontwoman and hipster clothier Bethany Cosentino loves her some Los Angeles. And in the new video for “The Only Place,” directed by Ace Norton, she and guitarist and Best Coast other-half Bobb Bruno shows us exactly why.
For starters, as she sings in the title-track to Best Coast’s well-received The Only Place, the video contains multiple references to the ocean, babes, the sun and waves. Those things exist on both coasts, though, so it’s the details that make L.A. is the true “Only Place.” Details like the bunny rabbits that roam the remnants of house parties and the outdoor couches; the watermelons and the blenders readily available for blended beverages; the troops of cheerleaders and the pyrotechnic bicycles and guitars. And everyone gets a matching “Best Coast” emblazoned jean jackets. (Just kidding, only Consentino and Bruno get those. But an East Coast girl can dream, can’t she?) It’s to these sun-soaked, oddball adventures that this love song sings.
Earlier this year, Cosentino told us that this song was inspired by a bout of homesickness. As she explained: “‘The Only Place’ is supposed to mean my bedroom, my home, Los Angeles, California. It’s a place where I feel the most comfortable and confident. I wanted to make a record that reflected that this place is my safe place, and all these songs that are written about more darker, kind of lonely feelings, those all go away as I get back to this only place.” And after watching this video, how could you blame her?
California-based buzz band Best Coast earned across-the-board raves for their lo-fi debut album Crazy For You, which was released back in 2010. This week, the band’s sophomore LP, The Only Place, was released. This time around, the band traded the fuzzy, surf rock vibe present on their first record for a cleaner, more aurally immersive sound, courtesy of super producer extraordinaire Jon Brion (Fiona Apple, Kanye West). While it remains to be seen which version of Best Coast fans will remember more fondly, the band’s new single, “The Only Place,” is undeniably one of this summer’s sunshineiest melodies.
Lead singer/rhythm guitarist Bethany Cosentino and lead guitarist Bobb Bruno swung by the Ed Sullivan Studios earlier this week to perform their new single on The Late Show With David Letterman, and they turned in a cool, confident performance of this ode to the joys of the great state of California. “‘The Only Place’ is supposed to mean my bedroom, my home, Los Angeles, California,” Bethany told us when we caught up with her at SXSW in March. “It’s the place where I feel the most comfortable and confident. I wanted to make a record that reflected that this place is my safe place, and all these songs that are written about more darker, kind of lonely feelings, those all go away as I get back to this only place.” Well, after finally hearing the whole record, we can attest that the current of loneliness runs through it loud and clear. In this regard, the title track stands in complete contrast to the rest of the album in that it positively shimmers, both live and on wax, not unlike the sunshine bouncing off a tasty Pacific Ocean wave.
MAD MEN STAR JESSICA PARÉ DROPS HER FIRST SINGLE
Denizens of the Internet have been frantically searching for “Zou Bisou Bisou” and “Zoo Be Zoo Be Zoo” all day long, and AMC —ever the smart media entity— has decided to strike quickly on the popularity of the saucy, French language striptease anthem. You can now buy an mp3 in the iTunes store or even buy it on vinyl. Sexy lingerie probably not included. [InSound]
DR. DREW WARNS ABOUT REPEATED EXPOSURE TO MDNA
It’s no surprise that Madonna is pulling out all the stops to promote her new LP, MDNA. It is a bit of a surprise, though, to see Dr. Drew starring in a viral video warning about the druggy side effects of listening to the record. Trust us, you don’t wanna cross Deadmau5, bro! [YouTube]
While there seems to be near-universal consensus about the benefits of Spotify from a consumer-perspective, the same cannot be said for the artists whose work actually appears on streaming services. There are varied reports as to how much money musical acts actually make from services like Spotify, MOG and Rdio —one widely circulated report last summer claimed that Lady Gaga only made $167 after her song “Poker Face” was spun one million times on Spotify— and some acts like The Black Keys have been very vocal about the reasons they have NOT chosen to make their music available there (“For a band that makes a living selling music, it’s not at a point where it’s feasible for us.”)
This hot button issue was on the top of everyone’s mind at this year’s SXSW Festival, where the worlds of technology and music collided for a few days earlier this month. Spotify executive Sean Parker explained during a VH1 Rock Docs panel audience that “There’s definitely some sort of dissent brewing between record labels, publishing companies and artists [about the compensation they get from streaming services] … Spotify is returning a HUGE amount of money [to the record labels]. If we continue growing at our current rate in terms of subscriptions and downloads, we’ll overtake iTunes in terms of contributions to the recorded music business in under two years.”
But what do the musicians themselves think? We sat down with a number of artists at varying stages of their careers —veteran acts like Train, The Shins, and Keane, as well as relative newcomers like Alabama Shakes, Best Coast, Fun. and Gary Clark Jr.— to get their perspectives on this controversial subject. Find out what they have to say in this exclusive VH1 Tuner video!
Some bands make music that simply sounds better while you’re listening to it outside, with a breeze in the air and a beer in your hand. California natives Best Coast definitely fall into this category, with their fuzzy, stoner-friendly riffs and the mellow, sweetly expressive voice of lead singer Bethany Cosentino. The band broke through with their 2010 Crazy For You LP, which scored an 8.4 and a coveted “Best New Music” notation from the tastemaker site Pitchfork, and just played a handful of gigs at the 2012 SXSW Music Festival in support of their new LP, The Only Place (the release date of which is still TBD).
“The record was written in a place of being homesick,” the 25 year-old Cosentino explained to us over the weekend. “‘The Only Place’ is supposed to mean my bedroom, my home, Los Angeles, California. It’s the place where I feel the most comfortable and confident. I wanted to make a record that reflected that this place is my safe place, and all these songs that are written about more darker, kind of lonely feelings, those all go away as I get back to this only place.”
Well, it’s pretty clear that while Cosentino feels most comfortable in California, she’s been widely accepted the world over. Her 2011 video for “Our Deal”, which was directed by Drew Barrymore and stars Chloe Moretz, picked up a 2012 Woodie Award for Best Video while down in Austin, an award she accepted from the luminous DJ Pauly D. If you’re not yet familiar with the group (or even if you are!), we’ve got some video of Best Coast performing “Our Deal” live from last week’s SPIN party at Stubb’s for you below.
Best Coast Launch A Line Of Clothing With Urban Outfitters
Best Coast singer Bethany Cosentino is collaborating with Urban Outfitters in her first foray into fashion. We’re guessing that the line is going to mimic her indie-cool vintage style, with flirty florals and lots of cute dresses. [Pitchfork]
Listen To Kurt Cobain’s Isolated “Smells Like Teen Spirit” Vocal
This is absolutely haunting to say the least. Kurt Cobain‘s stunning isolated vocal from Nirvana‘s iconic “Sounds Like Teen Spirit” will send chills up and down your spine. [SPIN]
“Conclusive” Proof That Nicki Minaj Is Actually Jay-Z
Vice Magazine has slowed down “Super Bass,” providing conclusive proof that Nicki Minaj is actually Jay-Z. Have a listen, and prepare to be amazed. [Vice]
Lana Del Rey Says There Might Not Be A Second Record
Lana Del Rey told Vogue “I don’t think I’ll write another record. What would I say? I feel like everything I wanted to say, I’ve said already.” No Born To Die 2? [Prefix]
If you like your bands buzzy and your keynote addresses delivered by Bruce Springsteen, then you’re going to be just as excited about the announcement of the line up for this year’s SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, as we are. As always, there will be sun and parties, and a showcase of the buzziest bands of the past year and the proverbial “ones to watch” for the year to come. Notably, the hyper-cool line up includes Lana Del Rey, who was not only controversially snubbed by the Coachella festival, but whose SNL performance on the weekend has drawn a lot of heat over the past few days. It seems like the Internet sensation can’t be deterred by a little bit of bad press, and that no matter what her criticisms, she is still one of the most relevant and “of the moment” artists as we dive into the new year.
Other big buzz names on the line up include Talib Kweli, who last year released his first solo album in 4 years, and who is set to join Mos Def as Black Star for their first album since they first appeared under the joint moniker 14 years ago; A$AP Rocky, a new comer who was at the forefront of left-of-the-mainstream hip hop last year; SBTRKT, the James Blake-but-better dub act that wrapped 2011 with critical accolades across industry publications; Best Coast, the buzz band tagged as one of the pioneers the new chillwave genre that is becoming increasingly popular, and Zola Jesus, the girl whose trippy, post-grunge vocalism has captured music aficionados with deeply referential yet highly experimental sounds. You can check out the full line up at the SXSW website, here.
Also featuring at the festival, and possibly what we’re most excited about — sorry up-and-coming young music things — is Bruce Springsteen’s keynote speech. As part of the music conference, The Boss will no doubt address a room full of attentive, reverential ears. We’ll be down in Austin for the festival (March 13-18) covering all the action and bringing you daily updates — so watch this space, there’s more to come!
SXSW Reveals Full Music Lineup & Schedule [Crave Online]
John Mayer Delays Album, Cancels Performances
This weekend John Mayer took to his Tumblr to announce that, as a result of a granuloma, he has been unable to sing, either to lay down the final vocal tracks for his upcoming album Born and Raised (thus delaying its release until 2012) or to perform at the iheartradio Music Festival in Las Vegas or with Tony Bennett in Los Angeles. We wish him a quick recovery. [Tumblr]
Best Coast: “Planet Rock is the best VH1 Rock Doc ever”
Straight from Best Coast‘s Twitter to your eyes. She’s not the only one raving, either. You’ve got at least one more chance to watch or DVR it: tomorrow at 11:00AM ET. And don’t miss the exclusive bonus interview clips. [Twitter]